Requests for Information in the United States
Requests for Information in Environmental Law
One of the powers that environmental agencies have is to investigate whether a violation of a law has occurred. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also has a right to find out who is involved in waste disposal at an abandoned hazardous waste site. Agencies gather much of their information from the reports required by permits and regulations, but they also send out requests for information. A person who receives such a request must answer it or face enforcement. Letters sent out for this purpose are called Section 104(e) letters, after the section of CERCLA that gives the EPA its authority. The EPA also has similar powers under the Clean Air Act (Section 114), the Clean Water Act (Section 308), and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (Section 3007).